25-year-old Bundesliga defender speaks out about failed transfer to Arsenal

By | March 1, 2021

Missing a chunk of the campaign due to a Covid-19, Ramy Bensebaini is now back and prepared to face Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League.

A regular under manager Marco Rose when fit, the Algerian star is likely to face his fellow countryman Riyad Mahrez in the upcoming fixture, but the defender could have done thus far more often had he managed to complete a transfer to Arsenal back when the legendary Arsene Wenger was in charge.

The star opened up to BBC Afrique in a lengthy interview, where Ramy touched upon a desire to play in the English top-flight down the line, having had a taste from a stint with the Gunners.

Getting a trial with the north London heavyweights at a young age, the versatile left-back explained what happened.

Ramy said: “When I was at the academy (at Paradou AC), we had an agent who used to work with players there to get them to Europe who knew Arsene Wenger, and he spoke to him about me.

“I went there, spent close to a month, I was training with the first-team and I played with the reserves at the weekend.

“It was a bit complicated because I didn’t speak English, I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t sign because, and this is what they’ve told me, I don’t know if it’s true, but there were six coaches who had to decide.

“Four said yes, two said no, and I needed a European passport, which I don’t have. I went back to Algeria, and then went to Belgium a year later.

Quizzed what it felt like to be under Arsene’s orders for a bit, he simply laughed and said he was not ready for it in the slightest, and while it was weird at first, players like Bacary Sagna and Marouane Chamakh helped him out.